Can you answer these 3 questions when out networking?

If we focus only on what we can get from a networking situation we are likely to be disappointed more often than not. On the other hand if we focus on how we can help those we meet two things happen.

Firstly the pressure is off and it’s easier to enjoy the event. Secondly we are perceived as more interesting – because we are more interested in the people we are with. This is a simple fact of life. As a result we are likely to get more value from the networking event.

Here are THREE questions to ask people you meet when you’re networking:

1. “What is your expertise?” You want to know more than the fact they are a solicitor or even an employment lawyer. How would they like you to remember them as compared with the other employment lawyers you meet?

2. “What sort of thing are you working on at the moment?” – This can also help make them more memorable as compared with other people you know in a similar line;

3. “What should I listen out for when I’m with other people so that I can say ‘aha – I should introduce them to you’?”

If you obtain answers to these questions, you will have identified how the person you asked can help you, or people you know, because you will know what they do.

By knowing what sort of thing they are working on you have an idea of what they are currently doing and at what level, and by asking how you can best identify potentially useful referral opportunities, you are providing some pro-active help, for which they will remember you.

Back to the title of this blog:

How would you respond if you were asked these, or similar, questions? Think about how much more memorable and referable you will be if you are ready and able to share this sort of information. Good luck.

PS: I have written a 10,000+ word book specifically for accountants who want to Network more effectively. Click here for full details>>>

If you would like to book me to speak on the subject at your in-house conference or training session, do get in touch. There’s an outline of my talk on ‘How to ensure your networking activity is successful’ here>>>  

By |2012-09-27T10:41:47+00:00September 27th, 2012|Uncategorized|

About the Author:

Mark Lee FCA is an accountancy focused futurist, influencer, speaker, mentor, author and debunker.

One Comment

  1. Paul Simister 10th October 2012 at 9:49 am - Reply

    I’m not a big fan of networking myself but it can certainly work well for some people.

    I really like your questions to dig deeper if the person you’re talking to hasn’t done the work necessary to create interest themselves.

    There’s a big problem about pigeon-holing people that makes you think that you know what they do.

    If you hear

    “Hello I’m John, I’m a printer.”

    I bet most accountants start thinking “I already know about eight other printers including the one who does my work and two other clients.”

    You think you know what they do and you probably do for 80% of their work. But what about the other 20% that makes them special?

    And of course it works the other way around.

    “Hi, I’m Peter. I’m an accountant.”

    “Ah another chap who can do my accounts and tax returns” thinks the person you’re talking to. “I don’t really need to get to know or remember about another of those.”

    Of course, the downside to these questions is if there is nothing special about your accountancy practice. If you just do the normal compliance based work and it is 99% the same from you as another accountant, then you might not have anything memorable to say.

    You should probably read Mark’s words of wisdom on finding a niche:

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